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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Lowcountry hemp farmers use new technology to break stigma around hemp

 

When you think of hemp, you might think of a cannabis variation like CBD or THC, but leaders of a new facility in Orangeburg County hope to change that.

Leaders with BrightMa Farms say they’re doing it by using technology. It's an effort to reveal the benefits of hemp that many people may not know of.

Before hemp farming was legal in South Carolina in 2018, it was made out to be dangerous plant and an outdated farming practice.

But it’s a farmer from Johns Island who's taking a different approach while bringing minority communities to the forefront of the industry.

Harold Singletary comes from a family of hemp farmers.

“I'm a fourth-generation descendant of BrightMa, who was enslaved on a plantation,” Singletary said.

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PJET partners with PURA to build student housing from hemp disrupting $600 billion lumber market

 Priority Aviation, Inc. (OTC Pink: PJET) (“PJET”) today announced the company has partnered with Puration, Inc. (OTC Pink: PURA) to build student housing from hemp.

PJET is a technology company focused on student life.  The company’s core technology is its soon to be launched Student Housing By Owner (SHBO) APP designed to connect communities local to college campuses with students through an APP similar to Airbnb and VRBO but specific to the college community.  PJET plans to evolve the relationship with the students into a lifelong relationship that extends beyond graduation providing a more socially conscious Amazon alternative.

PJET is building its own pilot student housing project in Texas near a small prominent, college campus to build first-hand experience that can be added to the ongoing development of the company’s SHBO APP.

PURA has launched its Farmersville Hemp Brand to usher industrial hemp solutions into the market and contribute to the net zero, 2050 global carbon neutrality goal.

Part of the Farmersville Hemp Brand strategy is targeted at disrupting the $600 billion global lumber market.

Hemp is a textile and lumber industry disruptor. Hemp fiber is an alternative to cotton and traditional construction lumber that in fact has many characteristics superior to cotton and traditional lumber before considering the environmental benefits of using hemp. Hemp grows faster than cotton and hard wood forests, uses less water and absorbs more carbon. Hemp can be used in the production of bioplastics and has even been tested for use in supercapacitors which hold the potential to outperform batteries and do so with far less detriment to the environment.

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Acreage sells cannabis facility in Oregon, makes changes to dispensaries, here are the details

Acreage Holdings, Inc. has completed the sale of its cultivation and processing facility in Medford, Oregon, and in conjunction with the sale, closed its dispensary in Powell, Oregon. Total consideration for the sale of the Medford cultivation and processing facility was $2 million, including $0.75 million paid to Acreage in February 2021, $0.5 million due August 1, 2022, and the remaining balance of $0.75 million due May 1, 2023. Additionally, the company has completed the consolidation and conversion of its dispensary in Brewer, Maine to adult use. (Benzinga)

“We are thrilled to convert our Brewer dispensary in Maine to adult-use, further solidifying our leading retail market share position in the state,” stated Peter Caldini, CEO of Acreage. “We look forward to expanding access to Maine residents as we continue to grow our footprint in this market. We are also pleased to have closed the sale of the facility in Oregon, as we work to complete our wind-down of operations in the state and focus on growing our presence in our core markets.”

 

Article by Vuk Zdinjak

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Grows Space New England presents its take on the Massachusetts cannabis market at the Cannabis Capital Conference

Robert Wolf, Managing Executive at Grow Space New England was a guest speaker at Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference (CCC). (Benzinga)

Grow Space New England operates as a gateway to cannabis cultivation in Massachusetts. The company finds legally compliant sites, gets the necessary construction permits, then constructs greenhouse and outdoor grow facilities that are leased to licensed cultivators. 

 

Article by Jad Malaeb

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Rare cannabis research operation planned in Brunswick

Florida-based Maridose LLC has set up shop in TechPlace, a business incubator facility at Brunswick Landing and is seeking federal approval to grow pot for research.

A Florida-based research firm is in the final stages of obtaining a rare federal license to grow cannabis for medical research in Maine.

Maridose LLC is one of at least 37 companies that has applied to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to grow cannabis for federal research. There are only about 600 scientists across the country, including at least two in Maine, who have federal approval to study marijuana. 

The University of Mississippi has had a monopoly over the cultivation of cannabis for federally sanctioned research for more than 50 years. But in 2016, with interest in cannabis research climbing, the DEA announced it would be opening up its marijuana cultivation contract to other growers.

“Although no drug product made from marijuana has yet been shown to be safe and effective in such clinical trials, DEA … fully supports expanding research into the potential medical utility of marijuana and its chemical constituents,” the agency said in its policy statement.

Allowing more growers would increase both the volume and variety of cannabis for research, which had been strictly limited because marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug, remains illegal under federal law. Scientists have long complained about the difficulty of conducting clinically valid research with such a restricted supply of the drug.

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Europe’s first seed bank with registration to open in Copenhagen

Finding high-quality cannabis seeds in Europe is about to get easier. Franchise Global Health announced that its Danish subsidiary, Rangers Pharmaceutical, will be Europe’s “first legal and registered” seed bank in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to an April 28 press release.

The seed bank is home to one of the largest collections of its kind with 286 strains, including several world-class genetics and winners of 19 High Times Cannabis Cups. The company has a footprint all over the globe, including Germany, Canada, Colombia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Portugal, and Denmark.

While seed banks can be found in places such as the Netherlands and the U.K., this seed bank is licensed to store, sell, and export cannabis seeds globally under legal international trade frameworks, with permits to import and export. Rigorous adherence to good manufacturing practices (GMP) is part of the equation.

“In Europe, we abide by EU-GMP standards, which requires a rigorous approach to production of all medicines,” Franchise Global Health Executive Chairman and CEO Clifford Starke told High Times via email. “Medical cannabis is by definition a medicine and we are committed to adhering to these requirements so that patients can have the confidence that they are ingesting consistently high-quality product.”

New Frontier Data special contributor Oliver Bennett explained in an article why EU-GMP certification is critical in Europe—especially in the world of medical cannabis, in which quality control is of the utmost importance. Adhering to those good manufacturing practices is key to surviving in the regulated market.

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Aeropay and Flowhub announce contactless payments integration

Cannabis retailers using Flowhub's point-of-sale platform can now offer compliant, cashless payments to customers

Aeropay, the cannabis industry's leading digital payments provider, and Flowhub, the leading national cannabis point-of-sale platform for dispensaries, have announced an integration partnership to enable ACH payments via Aeropay for over 1,000 dispensaries powered by Flowhub's software. Retailers using Flowhub can now offer cashless payments at checkout, which increases sales by more than 25% per transaction, based on data from Aeropay.

"Flowhub is a leading platform for cannabis retailers across the country, and this integration will allow thousands of businesses to offer a modern and efficient shopping experience," said Daniel Muller, CEO and founder of Aeropay. "This partnership is a consequential milestone in Aeropay's mission to help cannabis businesses efficiently scale by eliminating operational friction points. We look forward to extending compliant omnichannel payment solutions to even more dispensaries and brands as consumer demand for contactless alternatives to cash payments accelerates."

This integration makes checkout convenient and easy: By simply scanning a QR code, customers can complete their purchase without cash or cards. They simply link to their bank and pay.

Several of the cannabis industry's largest dispensaries and delivery companies utilize Aeropay's payment processing solutions to optimize their operations and retail experiences. Aeropay's payment method facilitates reliable and compliant payments for cannabis businesses across the United States.

"Flowhub is proud to work with Aeropay as our first ACH payments integration partner," said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO of Flowhub. "Both teams are committed to helping make cannabis products more easily accessible to consumers and reduce reliance on cash. This integration is a stepping stone for innovative payment processing of legal cannabis sales."

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Lucid Green raises $10M to power the first intelligent cannabis UPC platform

Lucid Green is transforming the cannabis supply chain with its LucidIDs, the industry's first intelligent QR code to improve the supply chain for brands, distributors, retailers and consumers.

The intelligent UPC platform transforming the entire cannabis supply chain — today announced its $10 million Series B funding round led by Gron Ventures, with participation by Gotham Green Partners. Lucid Green also announced three new pricing levels for brands, with varying levels of support to accommodate businesses of all sizes. With Lucid Green, brands, retailers, distributors and consumers realize the benefits of a streamlined cannabis supply chain — one that allows for dynamic information sharing, reduces costs, and increases transparency and trust for all stakeholders.

The cannabis industry's status quo in the supply chain is failing every stakeholder involved:

Retailers face challenges with inaccurate product information, inefficient cycle counting, sporadic Certificate of Analysis (COA) compliance and secondary stickering. Manual inventory management is also time consuming, expensive and prone to errors.Brands experience increased costs and lower profit margins as a result of compliance and supply chain inefficiencies, and lack the mechanisms to communicate directly with consumers and budtenders.Distributors face reducing retailer order fulfillment time and turnaround - resulting in higher working capital requirements for their customers.

"It's clear that the cannabis supply chain's status quo is holding the industry back, and Lucid Green is proud to have pioneered the first solutions to benefit all stakeholders," said Larry Levy, co-founder and CEO of Lucid Green.

"We are laser-focused on developing the leading solutions to strengthen our industry. Lucid Green benefits brands, distributors and retailers while delivering a much needed educational experience for consumers that helps to further normalize the industry."

Lucid Green's signature LucidIDs utilize QR codes to make the cannabis supply chain more efficient by allowing for true truck-to-shelf inventory intake, reducing manual labor and human errors, and virtually eliminating data cleanliness issues. The intelligent QR codes permit dynamic information flow which empowers stakeholders to continue adding information about a product through its lifecycle, unlike the status quo of secondary stickering.

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State suggests cashless apps for cannabis stores to avoid robbery

 

Last week, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and Washington State Department of Financial Institutions published a list of cashless phone apps and transfer services that cannabis retailers can use for customer payments, in lieu of cash.

The list also included banks and credit unions that would provide services to pot shops.

Because pot is federally illegal, cannabis retailers usually cannot take credit or debit cards. This reliance on cash alone has made them a target for armed robberies, which have spiked this year — including a robbery in Tacoma that saw an employee murdered.

However, not all cannabis retailers were optimistic about the cashless apps.

‘High’ frequency in armed robberies at pot shops in Puget Sound region

Kevin Heiderich, co-owner of House of Cannabis in Tacoma, Twisp, and Tonasket, appreciates the state’s effort to try to help curb robberies, but he does not believe this list of money transfer services will make much of a difference.

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Connecting cannabis businesses with customers

 

In the last three decades, nothing has undergone a legal and social makeover on a national scale quite like cannabis.

 

California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996, and a trickle of legal medical markets followed. At the time, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or the DARE program, was commonly espoused in schools and remained commonplace until federal funding was taken away after 2003. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Americans were arrested and some imprisoned for low-level cannabis offenses.

Sixteen years later in 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for adult use; and in the last 10 years 17 other states have joined them.

Alongside the evolution of the cannabis industry—out of the dark and into well-lit—has been an explosive growth in technology, ubiquitous across industries and in daily life.
The cannabis industry is no different: technology is propelling it forward in the grow house and in the marketplace.

Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps, the largest centralized online marketplace for cannabis, told NJBIZ what he sees as his company’s place in the cannabis ecosystem. “The easiest way to think about it is [that we’re] the Amazon for cannabis, but we don’t touch the products. We help the retailers showcase what they have and enable the consumers to place transactions online,” Beals shared.

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Supply and demand at the speed of cannabis

Once conspicuously low-tech to avoid scrutiny, today’s cannabis industry requires a high-tech approach.

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are defining the moment in legal cannabis — but bringing a new company into the house doesn’t always mean instant success. As cannabis companies continue to merge and grow, it’s become increasingly important to manage the supply chain.

As the co-founder of a SaaS platform for the cannabis supply chain, I use one phrase ad nauseam: the speed of cannabis. Expected to reach $45 billion in revenue by 2025, cannabis is running full speed ahead toward mainstream acceptance, normalization and maturity; and its pace is as dizzying as its M&A activity. According to a December 2021 story by MJBiz Daily, New York’s Viridian Capital Advisors counted 306 M&A transactions with 209 of them occurring in the U.S. from mid-December 2020 to mid-December 2021. This was a three-fold increase valued at $10 billion that exceeded 2019 and 2020 valuations combined.

This rapid-fire M&A activity is the natural outcome of an industry that limits companies’ growth to the states in which they’re licensed to operate. Regulated on a state-by-state basis, this fragmented nature of cannabis licensing means that M&A activity would be an efficient engine for cannabis companies interested in growing a national footprint ahead of potential federal legalization. And yet, successful M&A cohesion in cannabis can be rare.

Fast M&A and Slow Integration

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Weed could be grown in space – and it might be the best medical-grade cannabis yet

Cosmonauts may one day be producing medical-grade marijuana in space.

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recently spoke to Futurism about the future of growing cannabis plants in space.

Cosmonauts may one day be producing medical-grade marijuana in space.

Hadfield, who has spent time on both the Russian space station Mir and the International Space Station (ISS), believes that someday medical marijuana may be a thing in space.

He made his point by adding that mind-altering substances have always been a part of human nature.

"People have been chewing on mushrooms and various types of roots and berries for forever. There’s always a role in society or human behavior for that," he added.

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How CBD biomanufacturing could make Europe change and win the cannabis game

In this special guest post Kevin Chen, Co-founder & CEO, Hyasynth Bio, a precision fermentation startup producing sustainable cannabinoids, and Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV make the case for European CBD biomanufacturing

By now, many have heard about Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant and discovered in 1940. You can find it in products ranging from edible gummy bears to skin oil, for purposes such as pain or anxiety relief, cognition, acne treatment or sleep aid. The FDA-approved prescription medicine Epidiolex containing CBD is currently being used by over 1 million people with hard-to-treat epilepsies. Scientific publications are multiplying – exploring many more therapeutic applications for conditions such as diabetes and arthritis – and finally providing clinical proof to some of the effects that have been observed for years. 

Investment in cannabis startups has been on fire, both by number of deals and amounts raised, and 2021 is surpassing 2020 by a long shot, with over 200 deals by mid-October, including massive rounds like Dutchie’s $350 million Series D and Jane Technologies’s $100 million Series C.

Scientific publications about CBD since 1980. Source: NIH PubMed, November 2021

In other words, we’re entering the golden age of CBD, which might turn out to be a discovery as important as aspirin. So why isn’t this ‘hero ingredient’ even more widespread?

There are several reasons: first, it’s slow and expensive to produce and extract from cannabis plants, second, it is hard to control its dosage: a 2020 FDA study found that more than half of consumer CBD products differed greatly from what was written on the label. I should know: I’m from Canada, a country now famous for its cannabis farming, home to 8 of the top 10 largest cannabis companies by revenue, while the Canadian stock exchange hosts the 2 leading US firms, Green Thumb Industries and Curaleaf.

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The seed connect to launch the cannabis Crypto Seed Headz NFT collection on 4/20 at 4:20 PM EST

Real-World Cannabis Seed Company Backing its NFT With Real-World Benefits

Today, Tempe, Arizona-based Seed Connect, LLC, a cannabis seed supplier with one of the USA’s largest marijuana seed banks, announces it will be launching its Cannabis Crypto Seed Headz Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection.

The official day of launch is April 20, 2022 at 4:20 PM EST, which coincides with the international day of celebrating cannabis worldwide.

In this inaugural collection of 2,000 NFT Cannabis Crypto Seed Headz, Seed Connect will celebrate cannabis by capturing the spirit and personality of some of its favorite seeds in its artwork.

“This is the first marijuana NFT collection minted, where marijuana growers of all skill levels can gather to celebrate the exquisiteness of the sacred seed through our artwork, as well as get substantial smokin’ deals in the real world that are backed by one of the leading brick and mortar marijuana seed businesses,” says Dante Anthony, Seed Connect Co-Founder.

In addition to owning a unique, limited-edition piece of art, Cannabis Crypto Seed Headz NFT holders will get many benefits such as free seeds from its seed bank, mega discounts on future seed purchases, Zoom conferences and events, access to a private Discord community, whitelisting for future NFT releases, as well as access to a future, private club in the metaverse.

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The Robinhood of cannabis, Rinus Beintema, partners with U.S. firm to produce new CBD delivery method

Two industry leaders unite to create and deliver what is likely the most valuable, efficient and cost-effective all-natural concept on the CBD market today.

 Hemp Synergistics, a leader in the cannabis industry, announced today they have joined forces with Rinus Beintema, one of Europe's most recognized medical cannabis proponents, to deliver long sought relief with ground breaking hemp-infused treatments for thousands of pain and symptom sufferers.

Over the past year Hemp Synergistics, a cutting-edge laboratory and manufacturer, has been working hand in hand with well-known cannabis legalization advocate Rinus Beintema and his non-profit group Suver Nuver to develop condition-specific custom-cannabinoid treatments as a user-friendly successor to cannabis oil.

The maximum THC percentage for CBD products is 0.05 percent in the Netherlands, considerably lower than the 0.2 percent found in the rest of Europe. Beintema needed an end-product guaranteed to maintain legal compliance and set out to find an advanced laboratory and manufacturer to assist.

Enter Hemp Synergistics, an innovative Pittsburgh-based biotechnology company that specializes in extracting, isolating, and standardizing the active molecules in hemp.

The company had already conquered absorption of these substances, referred to as "bioavailability",  by preventing the body from breaking them down in the digestive process. This solves the problem by encapsulating the active hemp molecules by utilizing a patent-pending process and product known as Bio-Dri™, which causes a "Trojan Horse Effect" allowing the body to pass these substances by protecting the active ingredients from destructive enzymes to provide an outstanding absorption rate.

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Is Elon Musk a fan of marijuana?

The billionaire and CEO of Tesla likes to use a cannabis code.

What is your lucky number? 

Many people have often been asked this question. Basically, the number that corresponds to them or the number or combination that they will have in mind if they decide to play the lotto. 

It is one of the few commonly-shared superstitions.

The richest man in the world seems to share this superstition as well. Elon Musk, CEO of  Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report, is worth $259 billion as of April 13, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The tech mogul has a lucky or magical number that he seems to come out with for major financial and stock market transactions. 

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Insa Cannabis offers VR 'choose your own adventure' experience to 4/20 shoppers

Insa announced its plans for their annual April 20 in-store events. This year, they're doubling up - hosting a 4/20 celebration in this reality and in virtual reality. Insa is inviting its customers to step into the virtual reality of cannabis wonders. (Benzinga)

At its Massachusetts retail locations in Salem, Easthampton and both stores in Springfield, consumers can step into a completely virtual world. The immersive experience puts the power into consumers’ hands through an oculus headset that will be displayed at each location for people to be transported and explore a first-of-its-kind virtual reality tour.

A “Choose Your Own Adventure” immersive experience will give customers a behind-the-scenes look at cannabis cultivation, Insa's lab and kitchen where the culinary team handcrafts their award-winning edibles. Anyone who wants to learn more about the cannabis industry will be thrilled to see firsthand how Insa grows its high-quality cannabis and creates decadent confections.

Insa’s 4/20 celebration isn’t all virtual, however. What would a 4/20 celebration be without, well, cannabis? Back in the real world at Insa's Salem and West Columbus Avenue location in Springfield, local food trucks will be serving snacks. Consumers at all locations will get free swag, fun surprises and deals on Insa cannabis.

“Every year for 4/20 we try and push ourselves to put on an exciting event to wow our current customers and educate consumers less familiar with cannabis. This year I think we’ve really outdone ourselves and I hope that our customers will agree,” said Peter Gallagher, Insa's co-founder.

“We are excited to welcome people as they take a peek behind the Insa curtain and get a better understanding of the cannabis industry and how Insa’s products come to life."

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5 cool marijuana accessories you can buy today — a glimpse into the future of 4/20

 

The next generation cannabis consumer is thinking beyond how high they can get, and searching for a more memorable (and perhaps Instagram-able) experience.

During the early days of recognizing the 4/20 holiday, lighting up was a bit more discreet. An apple meticulously carved into a pipe, a simple hand-rolled joint, or a run-of-the-mill tobacco pipe were a few of the slim options available for smoking THC.

With more states legalizing cannabis, the shameful stigma tied to smoking this herb is slowly but surely, fading away. We may not be totally out of the woods just yet, but there’s no denying that the cannabis culture is being embraced now more than ever before.

The stoners of yesteryear would be taken aback by what they’d find in the modern-day consumer’s toolkit. Going into the high holiday, the next generation cannabis consumer is thinking beyond how high they can get, and searching for a more memorable (and perhaps Instagram-able) experience to share with friends. 

For when the secret “stash” becomes a display, and your bar cart becomes a bong cart, here are a few wild marijuana accessories for the modern-day 420 enthusiast.

Stündenglass Gravity Bong 

Unlike the homemade gravity bongs you made in college with a plastic 2-liter and whatever other household items you could pull together, the Stundenglass Gravity Bong makes for a futuristic and immersive experience.


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Victorian government backs medical cannabis facility

In the Australian state of Victoria, the Andrews Government has announced funding for a multi-million-dollar medical cannabis facility.

The support under the Regional Jobs Fund will be provided to Cannatrek’s project near Shepparton in the northeast of the state. The first phase involves a high-tech 1.5-hectare outdoor grow area, with the capacity to produce between 5 and 10 tonnes of dried premium-grade flower per annum.

It’s expected more than 70 local jobs will be created with this phase.

“This project will help put Greater Shepparton on the map as a medicinal cannabis producer, creating more jobs and boosting the region’s economy,” said Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp.

Ultimately, the facility could expand to a 16-hectare glasshouse with post-harvest facility, creating up to 400 local jobs upon completion.

“A strong partnership with the local community is essential to us, and we want to provide opportunities for meaningful employment,” stated Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert.

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Cone Denim first to launch US-grown hemp in BastCore collaboration

US-based Cone Denim has unveiled a new US-grown hemp denim collection in collaboration with hemp processing innovator, BastCore.

Cone Denim is the first to partner with BastCore in a move it says expands its sustainable denim offerings and increases its support of the American agriculture industry, featuring denim made with Alabama hemp and US cotton and dyed with natural indigo grown in Tennessee.

BastCore has created patent-pending technology and a proprietary process that produces clean, mechanically processed, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and USDA bio-preferred hemp fibre out of its operation in Montgomery, Alabama.

The company transforms hemp, a low input, high-yielding crop, into numerous sustainable biobased products from the bast and hurd (wood), expanding the use cases for the full hemp plant to bridge the gap between farmers growing hemp and industries demanding cost-competitive, sustainably produced raw materials.

Cone’s US Hemp Collection includes a range of fabrics featuring classic 3×1 and comfort stretch to modern workwear constructions. The collection further expands upon Cone’s sustainability and traceability practices, driving the future of the industry.

The proximity of the hemp, indigo, and cotton crops in the US to the company’s mills in Mexico is also key in creating the smallest environmental impact and footprint possible, the company says.

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